Functional Stability Training Review

I just got a copy of Functional Stability Training with Eric Cressey and Mike Reinold.


As usual, it was amazing stuff. Here is a clip from the DVDs:

Rick and His History of Core Stuff

Before I get into the review, let me chat about core stuff.

I was introduced into core stuff in 1997.  I was working at a physical therapy clinic and the physical therapists at the clinic asked me to do some research and put an in-service together for them on core stability exercises.

The class was a hit with the physical therapists and it led to me teaching the class at Simon Fraser University.

Over the next 4 years, this led to the building of a 16 hour course related to core stability for the rehab client, on advanced core stability, core stability of the shoulder, and core stability of the lower back.

I am always excited to see what new research is out there when it relates to the core, or what leaders in the field like Reinold and Eric Cressey have to say about it.  I know I am always open to new idea and I am always learning.  In the end it benefits my clients, those that attend my courses, and myself.

Let me go through the program and highlight a few things I learned.

Module #1 – Introduction to Functional Stability (Length – 52:26)

This is where they explain their concept of core training.  They explain it is based on numerous disciplines.

Mike started explaining what FST is and how it is based on four components:

  • motor control
  • proprioception
  • dynamic stabilization
  • neuromuscular control
Mike also spent a good chunk of time talking about what creates dynamic stability and going through his perspective of the 4 things that play a role in it.  He discussed how dynamic ligament tension, joint compression, force couples, and neuromuscular control impact dynamic stability.  It was great to hear his perspective and get insight into how he interprets things.

Few highlights from this module:

  • reverse posturing is a big thing we need to focus in on with our clients
  • isolation training has an important role in the process of rehab and performance
  • how the hips might be the place to start with a lot of things we do as trainers, coaches and therapists
  • muscle imbalances affect the core in a negative way and need to be addressed
Here is a clip with Mike chatting:

Module #3 – Maintaining a Training Effect In Spite of Common Spine and Lower Extremity Injuries (Length – 1:00:48)

It was great they took the time to look at some stuff when it related to exercise and injuries:

This is great to stuff to see.  This module really focused on stuff that I love, which is injury and exercise stuff.  It is great to get the perspective of a strength coach and how he keeps getting training results, even if clients are injured.

Eric shared his experience working with 40 people that had spondylolysis.  He classified it as the new ACL epidemic in the sports performance world.

Eric went off on a tangent and commented on how many of the injuries that professional athletes have could be the result of what they did between 10 to 15 years of age.  The focus on competition and less on training, plus the early specialization of sports, has changed how people have developed.

Eric also talked in detail about disc herniations, hockey hips, sports hernias, and exercise considerations.  He also touched on anterior femoroacetabular impingement, anterior hip pain, femoral anterior glide syndrome, anterior knee pain, and ankle issues.

A few things that stood out:

  • look at the mechanism of injury and consider that when it comes to the exercise program

Module #6 – Performance Progression Lab & Advanced Stability Lab: Training Outside of Sagittal Plane (Time 56:20)

It was great having Mike go through bridges, bird dogs, side planks, and kneeling rotation exercises.  Hearing his cuing and seeing his progressions are things that I will use with my clients.

Mike focused on lower body and then Eric came in and started talking about upper body exercises.  Eric started with serratus anterior and lower trapezius work.  Then Eric went into his med ball stuff.  This was great.  A lot of stuff that I have never seen before, but what was more important than just the exercises was his program design.  I typed out 14 pages of notes full of little photos like this:

Enough of my little stills. Here is a clip from Eric, talking about med training he does with his athletes:

Other Things that I Like about FST:

  • I never get tired of listening to the Boston accent.  When I read Eric and Mike’s blogs, I make sure I read it in my mind with a Boston accent.  It make it more interesting and easier to remember the material.
  • I get a chuckle when coaches bring out their khakis for the camera.  Mike and Eric, did the same.  Nice.
  • It is always great to get new cuing for exercises and exercise progressions.
  • The little story that Eric shared about rubber and why there were so many faulty med-balls last year was very cool.
  • It was interesting to hear why Cressey does not spend much time on Olympic lifts with his athletes and spends more time doing medicine ball work.

>>> CLICK HERE to Check Out Functional Stability Training <<<

Okay, let me be honest.  I have only gone through 3 of the 6 modules but I am very very happy so far.  I have learned a number of exercises, got some great cuing tips, a bunch of progressions, was reminded of a bunch of stuff, and learned a stack of new stuff.

I will watch the rest next weekend as I have a long flight to Detroit and then off to Windsor to present.  Take care.

Okay, that’s it, have a great day.

Rick Kaselj, MS